15 DECEMBER 1944, Page 14

Late Songs

For the first time within my experience the blackbirds have been in song. The bird has not a long period of song, which is surprising, since its very near cousin, the thrush, always sings in every .month of the year and often throughout a winter day. Birds in general have been unusually vocal, not least the rooks. These birds possess a singularly complex musical box or syrinx, but use it not for song but for variety of intonation, and this winter some of their notes have been spring notes. Doubtless the reason is the superabundance of food. The most popular of berries still hang gloriously on our garden bushes.